What Is a Tagline and How to Write One That Sticks (+50 Examples)

Image of a woman’s hand holding a pencil and writing, symbolising the act of writing a tagline. This image introduces the blog post titled "What is a Tagline and How to Write One That Sticks."

By Nine Blaess | 07:16 min

In this article
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    What is a tagline? It’s more than just a catchy phrase; it’s a powerful tool that encapsulates your brand’s essence, communicates its distinctiveness, and creates a lasting impression. In this article, we will talk about the importance of taglines, the differences between taglines and slogans, why your brand should have a tagline and how to write one. 

    Let’s dive right in.

    What Is a Tagline?

    A tagline is far from a mere collection of words. It’s a short expression that sums up the essence and uniqueness of your brand.

    Your tagline allows people to identify your brand even if the brand name is not visible and is one of the most effective ways to build brand recognition.

    But that’s not all. A powerful tagline is like your brand’s signature. It increases brand awareness, promotes customer loyalty and sets you apart from the competition.

    A Tagline Is Not a Slogan

    Did you know a tagline and a slogan serve different purposes, despite both being catchy and memorable phrases?

    While a slogan is often used to promote a specific temporary offer, a tagline has a longer-term role. It goes beyond promoting an offer and encapsulates your brand’s values, unique selling proposition, and personality.

    In fact, a well-crafted tagline can become inseparable from your brand over time.

    Let’s take Nike as an example. Since 1988, Nike has been using its iconic tagline “Just Do It.” It embodies Nike’s brand ethos of determination, motivation, and overcoming challenges.

    Nike consistently applies their tagline across various materials, from advertisements to packaging and even in prominent placements like Google search results.

    Through consistent and strategic use, the tagline has become deeply associated with the Nike brand, forming a powerful connection with consumers and representing Nike’s overall brand identity.

    Example of Nike incorporating its tagline “Just Do It” into Google Search
    Example of Nike incorporating its tagline into Google Search

    In addition to this tagline, Nike has used various slogans tied to individual campaigns, such as:

    • Find Your Greatness 
    • Unlimited You
    • Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.

    Why Should Your Brand Have a Tagline?

    A tagline offers numerous advantages and can be considered a secret ingredient for your success. Here are some reasons why taglines are used in branding:

    Unique Brand Identity

    Your tagline can help convey your brand’s unique identity—its values, personality, vision and mission. By encapsulating the essence of your brand in a few words, your tagline can help form a clear image in the minds of consumers.

    Take Audi’s tagline, “Vorsprung durch Technik” (Advancement through Technology), for example. This tagline highlights Audi’s benefit of technological innovation and progressiveness.

    Increased Brand Recognition

    Your tagline can also help increase brand recognition. A memorable tagline can leave a lasting impression and foster a sense of familiarity with your brand. Just like a friendly handshake that your customers will remember.

    “Vorsprung durch Technik” has contributed to enhancing Audi’s brand recognition and establishing the company as a symbol of technological innovation and progressiveness.

    Customer Connection

    A well-written tagline speaks to your customers on an emotional level and creates a connection between them and your brand. It can evoke positive emotions by matching your customers’ values or addressing their needs and desires.

    In the case of Audi, the tagline “Vorsprung durch Technik” taps into people’s desire for a car with cutting-edge technology and thus creates a connection to the brand.


    Your tagline can also help differentiate your brand from the competition by highlighting the unique selling point and unique personality of the brand. It’s an opportunity to say, “Hey, we’re different, and here’s why.”

    For Audi, this means positioning itself as the go-to brand for technologically advanced cars.

    Does Every Brand Need a Tagline?

    A tagline can bridge the gap between your brand name and its intended meaning, especially when the name alone doesn’t convey the essence of the brand or when your brand is still establishing itself.

    However, not all brands need a tagline. To determine if a tagline will help grow your brand, you should consider your goals, your audience and your overall brand strategy. This will help you decide if a tagline can contribute to the success of your brand.

    Characteristics of a Strong Tagline

    A powerful tagline is characterised by the following features:

    • Memorable: easy to remember
    • Clear: effectively communicates the brand’s message
    • Unique: sets the brand apart from competitors
    • Reflective of Brand Identity: aligns with brand values and personality
    • Engaging: captures attention and generates interest
    • Timeless: remains relevant over time
    • Versatile: works across all marketing channels
    • Honest and Positive: fosters trust and is authentic to the brand
    • Action-Oriented: inspires the audience to take action
    • Scalable: adaptable to future brand growth

    Types of Taglines and Examples

    Let’s take a look at the different types of taglines as well as some examples of each. Note that many examples will fit into multiple categories.

    Descriptive Taglines

    Descriptive taglines are brief and impactful summaries that effectively capture the essence of a brand. They provide insights into the brand’s key features, benefits, or unique selling points, vividly portraying what the brand represents and offers.

    Here are a few examples:

    • Taste the rainbow. (Skittles)
    • Belong anywhere. (Airbnb)
    • Broadcast Yourself. (Youtube)
    • We’ll leave a light on for you. (Motel 6)
    • We deliver. (USPS)
    • This is wellness (Deliciously Ella)

    Inspirational Taglines

    Inspirational taglines tap into desires, ignite passions and motivate personal development. They go beyond product features and benefits and speak to people on an emotional level.

    Here are some examples of inspirational taglines:

    • Think Small. (Volkswagen)
    • Impossible is nothing. (Adidas)
    • Think big. (Imax)
    • Let’s go places. (Toyota)
    • Belong anywhere (Airbnb)
    • Nonstop you. (Lufthansa)

    Humorous Taglines

    Humorous taglines use wit and lightness to capture the audience’s attention, entertain them and at the same time create a positive association with the brand.

    Here are some examples:

    • That was easy. (Staples)
    • Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline. (Maybelline)
    • Red Bull gives you wings. (Red Bull)
    • Nothing runs like a Deere. (John Deere)
    • Finger-Lickin’ Good (KFC)
    • Don’t leave home without it. (American Express)

    Provocative Taglines

    Provocative taglines challenge conventional thinking, arousing curiosity and speaking to the target group on a deeper level. By pushing boundaries and daring to be different, they captivate attention and provoke thought.

    Here are a few examples of provocative taglines:

    • Can you hear me now? (Verizon)
    • Designed to be deleted (Hinge)
    • Democracy dies in darkness. (The Washington Post)
    • What happens here, stays here. (Las Vegas)
    • The Citi never sleeps. (Citibank)
    • Save water. Drink champagne. (Moët & Chandon)

    Call-to-Action Taglines

    Call-to-action taglines motivate the audience to take action and connect with the brand.

    Some examples of Call-to-Action Taglines are:

    • Fuel your freshness. (Subway)
    • Empower your journey with Hertz. (Hertz)
    • Seize the ride. (Uber)
    • Uncover the world. (Expedia)
    • Be a hero (GoPro)
    • Join the movement. (Fitbit)

    Rhythmic or Rhyming Taglines

    These taglines employ rhythmic patterns or rhymes to enhance memorability and captivate the audience’s attention.

    Here are some examples:

    • Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. (M&M’s)
    • The quicker picker-upper. (Bounty)
    • It keeps going… and going… and going. (Energizer)
    • Easy as ABC. (ABC Network)
    • Buy It, Sell It, Love It (eBay)
    • I’m lovin’ it (McDonald’s)

    Brand Essence Taglines

    Brand Essence Taglines encapsulate the essence, values, or identity of a brand, leaving a lasting impression on its audience.

    Here are some examples of Brand Essence Taglines:

    • Open Happiness. (Coca-Cola)
    • The happiest place on Earth. (Disneyland)
    • Just like home. (Marriott)
    • Connecting People (Nokia)
    • A diamond is forever. (De Beers)
    • The king of beers. (Budweiser)

    Competitive Taglines

    Competitive Taglines are designed to distinguish a brand from its competitors by highlighting its superiority or unique selling point.

    Here are some examples of Competitive Taglines:

    • We try harder. (Avis)
    • Think different. (Apple)
    • I think, therefore IBM. (IBM)
    • America like you’ve never read it. (New Yorker)
    • Better sound through research. (Bose)
    • The ultimate driving machine. (BMW)

    How to Write a Tagline That Sticks

    Writing a tagline for your brand can be a daunting task, but there are some essential steps you can follow to make the process more manageable. Here are some tips to guide you along the way:

    1. Understand Your Brand

    Start by gaining a good understanding of your brand’s identity, values, and unique selling points. Clarify what sets your brand apart from the competition.

    2. Define Your Target Audience

    Identify your target audience and consider their needs, preferences, and aspirations. Your tagline should resonate with them and evoke an emotional connection.

    3. Brainstorm Keywords and Phrases

    Generate a list of keywords and phrases that reflect your brand’s essence and value proposition. Consider words that evoke emotions, convey benefits, or create curiosity.

    4. Keep It Concise

    Remember that a tagline should be short and memorable. Aim for a concise phrase that captures the essence of your brand in a few words. There is no strict rule on the exact number of words a tagline should have, but most stay under eight words.

    5. Emphasise Uniqueness

    Highlight what makes your brand unique and different from others in your industry. Find a way to communicate your distinctive qualities in your tagline.

    6. Use Language Techniques

    If suitable to your brand, experiment with language techniques such as alliteration, rhyme, or wordplay to make your tagline more memorable and engaging.

    7. Test and Refine

    Once you have a few tagline options, gather feedback from stakeholders, customers, or focus groups. Refine and iterate based on the feedback received.

    8. Check for Alignment

    Ensure your tagline aligns with your brand identity, values, and messaging. It should be consistent with your brand voice and resonate with your target audience.

    9. Evaluate Effectiveness

    Monitor the impact of your tagline over time. Assess its effectiveness in generating brand recognition, attracting customers, and conveying your brand message.

    Key Takeaways

    • What is a tagline, now? It’s a short expression that captures your brand’s essence and helps communicate your brand’s unique values and personality.
    • A tagline is different from a slogan, as it represents your brand long-term, rather than being tied to temporary promotions or campaigns.
    • Incorporating a tagline can differentiate your brand, build recognition, shape identity, foster consistency, and establish an emotional connection.
    • Not all brands require a tagline, but it can bridge the gap between the brand name and brand purpose.
    • A strong tagline is memorable, clear, unique, reflective of brand identity, engaging, timeless, versatile, honest, positive, action-oriented, and scalable.
    • There are various types of taglines, from humorous to provocative.
    • When crafting your tagline, consider some steps: understand your brand, define your target audience, brainstorm, keep it concise, emphasise uniqueness, consider language techniques, test and refine, check for alignment, and evaluate effectiveness.

    If you enjoyed this article, you might want to learn how to create your distinctive brand voice, too.


    Title image by Kaboompics

    Ready to take your business to the next level?